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The Color Of Welcome, With A Mexican Delight! #AUCNext100

How The International Student Association's Winter/Spring 2014 Welcome Back Event Celebrates The Wellness Of A Travel's Return! #AUCNext100

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One of the beautiful outlets of returning back to the University setting, after going home for the winter break, is the refreshing vibe being experienced, once coming back to the University setting. You feel as if you have gone through a state of renewal. An educational re-birth, almost! There is the beauty and art of entering the University setting, for the new academic semester. Seeing former classmates, reuniting with University friends, and observing any new looks or changes, they have made to their hair or fashion wardrobe. Its the fact that you are able to see each other, after having survived another semester, which makes that moment even more enjoyable. Its enchanting!

On that particular day, January 27, 2014, for the welcome back celebration at the American University In Cairo, I was able to experience a magical moment of renewal. There was great joy and abundance in being able to seeing former classmates, staff, and friendly faces on campus. On that particular night, the element was serene. Of course what made the moment even more enchanting, were the traces of a Mexican maiden, who had accompanied me on that night.

(Photograph By Graduate Student; Edits By Lauren Clark)

In my travels and educational journeys, Mexico has presented herself as a source of protection in my path. Often showing up when I have least expected her, or in some of the most surprising and nutritious ways. The American University In Cairo has been another space, where Mexico’s maidenal presence has brought comfort into my educational journey. There are different moments, of course. Yet, on this night, it was simply she and I. Myself and a former Mexican woman classmate, who were enjoying our night, together.

Beautiful traces of Egyptian-Arab cultural decor, blanketed the spacing as the traditional dish of khoshary, and others, was abundant for those daring to indulge themselves in the culinary delights of this nation. There was great desire and awakening in that level of nourishment-the very artistry in tasting a nation. In my undergraduate studies, I had a similar experience in the nation of Mexico. As usual, that’s for another telling. Nevertheless, for the mysteries of that night, Mexico’s daughter would join me in this adventure.

From getting henna, to the belly dancer attire, which was gifted to me, the event was a pleasurable one; a comforting one. There was a peculiar vibe in the air. One of nurture, safety, and the reassurance that in this gardenal space, one was protected and valued. I felt the desire of being able to simply relax; feeling the rewards of an international, educational experience. For me, a story tale had unraveled.

Just imagine a tale of two maidens of different cultures, who had reunited in a distant land. One is Black American. The other is Mexican. Perhaps, long ago, they had met each other, prior. Maybe they were sacred friends. The again, they could have been part of a sacred Sisterhood. Whatever the case may be, at that moment, and in that space, they were there-together. Forget any worries, or frustrations, happening the day before. None of that really mattered. What truly counted was the level of happiness, being celebrated, now. Great beauty illuminated the magic happening, within that particular spacing.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)

Another fascinating feature regarding the welcome back event was the nurture of Sisterhood. Seeing Egyptian, Sudanese, Mexican, Nigerian, Danish, and other women interacting with each other, in the very spacing, was indulging. There was a feminine level of care and nurture, having been created in the event. That care pertained to the recognition of womanhood. In fact, the very artistry of women interacting with each other in the way that is pleasing and engaging, is phenomenal! When women come together in such a way, there is a great healing taking place in the space. For me, one of those healing moments was with a Mexican dame.

The auspicious atmosphere regarding her presence is how she reminded me of my undergraduate experience in having studied in Mexico. It was a delightful one, nevertheless. Meeting beautiful Beings, who had shown me the culture, while also giving me hints of lessons meant to be learned. Here in Cairo, within one University garden, there was another reminder, another memory, illuminated. Furthermore, it also gave the vibe and feeling, that my journey in Mexican wanders had not ended. There was still, so much for me to explore. My night, and capture, with this beloved Darling, was one of the numerous reminders, I had in Egypt.

Another beauty I remember about that night, was how cold it was. That’s not a surprise when you are in the desert. However, in some strange way, the intensity of the cold, increased the level of emotional warmth between this Mexican flower and I. Experiencing the magic of nighttime, within another culture, was a powerful reminder that Universal power is everywhere. It covers every nation, and environment. Wherever there is life, wherever there is night, is where one is able to find healing. The experience is that more ideal when we are able to go through that experience with other people.

Eating khoshary throughout the event was one of the healing vectors, I chose to delight myself in. The taste of garlic, tomato sauce, with spices, continues to resonate within my taste buds. In fact, its one of my comfort foods, when in Egypt. A super, culinary power, which introduces you to Egyptian lands; while slowly leading you to other tastes of the nation. Through food, you have the power to taste the sensory, of that specific Earthly spacing. It was the same in my journey within certain areas of Mexican landscapes.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)
(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)

That sacred Welcome night on AUC’S campus was another example in the emotional healing of receiving an international education. When you move, and travel, you never know who you are destined to meet. When moving into the educational realm of travel, a person may never know how past study abroad experiences can overlap with the present ones. A hidden sign that more learning awaits us; no matter where we venture to. Those past travels of learning will always intertwine themselves into the present.

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)

As the night began to wind down, the wind’s breeze became ever more subtle. Things moved in the natural way of what happens when special events are closing down. Nevertheless, I had special treasures that I could take home. They were the very proof that we had immersed ourselves within such spacing. Our images had been captured, and we were off to continue into our separate ventures of the night. From there, the memories would linger on. Nevertheless, it was truly one night to be remembered. One night, where the intricacies of a garden’s Welcome, was vital for the start of a new semester. It was that reminder for returning and new students, into the beauties of an educational journey, in a distant land. A place and space, where the beauties of travel learning would be honored and respected, in the way they should. Its one of those unspoken rules best left unsaid, until someone actually feels it.

Being with a Mexican sister on that day was restoring. Another sign that Mexico was calling, and still is. It is evident that once you land your presence within a particular place, it is with you forever. If you have given holistic energy into it, your image becomes part of it. That’s one of the auspicious delights of a travel journey. Furthermore, it is even more intrinsic, when you are welcomed, within!

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren Clark)
(Photograph By AUC Personnel; Edits By Lauren Clark)
(Photograph By AUC Personnel; Edits By Lauren Clark)
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